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tv   Fareed Zakaria GPS  CNN  February 10, 2013 10:00am-11:00am PST

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useful." still, the penny remains in play. for starters, there is the arguable contention that everything will cost more because stores will round up their prices. then there are the pro-penny forces, including a penny preservation lobbying group started by a big zinc company. did we mention that pennies are more than 97% zinc? and there's no political push against the penny. a poll last year funded by the zinc industry showed that even though many americans give away, lose, otherwise ignore penny, 67% want to keep them away. a professor testified in 1990 for the pro-penny lobby. he actually thinks the economic case for getting rid of pennies is stronger now, but he doesn't see it happening under this particular president. >> i can't imagine a former member of congress from illinois is going to lead the way to get rid of the lincoln penny. >> sentimentality aside, abe and his monument are also on the $5 bill, the economic case for a
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penniless u.s. grows more compelling, giving ex-congressman kolbe hope. >> the polling is very clear that when people find out about the savings they're going to make it's substantial and willing to make that kind of change. >> according to him, not minting pennies would save the u.s. treasury about $45 million a year. and while we're on the subject, switching the paper dollar to a dollar coin would save $178 a year and a nickel now costs a dime to produce. quarter for your thoughts? thanks for watching "state of the union." i'm candy crowley in washington. head to for analysis and extras. and if you missed any part of today's show, find us on itunes. search "state of the union." "fareed zakaria: gps" is next. this is "gps," the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria.
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we have a great show for you today and we begin with american politics. what is really happening? are the republicans on the defensive? will the automatic budget cuts happen? is there any chance of legislative deals? we have a great panel, paul krugman, mort zuckerman, arianna huffington, and ed conard. then something special. an exclusive interview with the richest man in india, the second richest man in all of asia. mukesh ambani. why he's bullish on america. it was the first time television cameras were ever allowed in his extraordinary mansion in the sky. then, everyone is worried about the arab spring. i talked to the leaders of five arab governments to get some answers. and a fascinating internal power struggle in iran and what it means. but first here's "my take." one of the great political debates in washington and around the country has been whether barack obama is a highly
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partisan democrat bent on liberal agenda or a centrist searching for compromise. it's still early in his second term, but he's recently made moves that seem to answer the question. obama could easily choose a partisan strategy that would be politically effective. don't make deals with the republicans on immigration or entitlement reform and go into the 2014 congressional elections with those problems still alive. with no deal, democrats could campaign as the guardians of medicare and advocates of immigration reform, both electoral winners. that's why some democratic senators have begun to make demands well beyond what republicans can accept. but obama has chosen the second path. two weeks ago, as soon as a group of republican and democratic senators joined forces behind a unified approach to immigration reform, obama signaled his support for it. and this week in urging congress not to allow the so-called sequestration process to force spending cuts, the white house said that obama's budget
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proposals to house speaker john boehner from 2011 were very much on the table. those budget proposals, remember, include entitlement reforms that aroused immediate opposition from democrats. so obama is moving to the center. the real question is will anyone follow him there? now, there are many who argue that washington isn't really broken, it simply reflects a country that is deeply divided. if so, the issues we're talking about provide a useful set of tests. thumping majorities of americans support immigration reform. according to a recent gallup poll 72% say undocumented workers should be given green cards or citizenship. a similar percentage wanted to give more see visas to high-tech workers. or look at gun control. a recent pew poll found large majorities favor commonsense control -- universal background checks, preventing those with mental illnesses from buying guns, bans on semiautomatic and assault-style weapons.
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in a large diverse democracy, these are substantial national majorities. but will they translate into legislative pa jorties in congress? if not, it suggests there is a real disconnect between the country and its capital. now, there is much good news in america. the american economy is recovering. housing is lowly re-emerging. the energy revolution is lowering costs for manufacturing and adding jobs in the energy sector. america's financial sector is in better shape than those of most rich countries. and american households have been rebuilding their balance sheets. our savings rate today is higher than that of frugal canada. a new congressional budget office report says deficits are returning to precrisis levels within a few years. we don't need some big and grand bargain. even moderate reform on immigration, gun control, energy policy, and most difficult, the budget, would give a powerful boost to the country beyond any specific economic impact.
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you see, politicians could demonstrate that they could actually govern. everyone would get some credit. and america would finally have found a center. for more on this, you can red read my column in this week's "time" magazine. let's get started. so now you know my thoughts on how the white house and congress can get some work done. let's get straight to what other people think. joining me today, paul krugman, op-ed columnist for "the new york times," the author of "end this depression now" just out in paper back and on "the new york times" bestseller list. mort zuckerman, publisher of u.s. news and world report, publisher of "the daily news" and he has a few real estate holdings here and there. arianna huffington, chair, president, and editor in chief of "the huffington post" media group. and ed connor, visiting scholar at the american enterprise institute, former managing director at bane capital.
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arianna, do you think that the obama you're seeing now -- and one of the things i'm struck by is how the election changed the political climate. # the republicans seem on the defensive, trying to reinvent the plan. obama seems more confident. is this the new obama? is this the old obama? is this the real obama? >> well, the great thing for obama right now is that he has the public on his side. my concern right now -- and that's, i think, will determine which obama will actually prevail -- is that jobs and growth are not on his agenda. it is absolutely stunning. if you go back to the election, he kept campaigning around jobs, rebuilding our bridges, rebuilding our infrastructure, the american dream, saving it for the middle class. and both the rhetoric and the legislative agenda around these issues is nowhere to be found. >> i think -- i don't think obama has changed much. i mean, i still think that you really want to view him as what used to be a moderate republican. right?
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he's in favor of expanded health care but not at all any kind of wide-eyed liberal. of course there are no republicans like that anymore. he's operating -- look, in spite of the fact that the wind is at his back in a lot of ways, he's still operating with a very restricted set of possibilities given a republican hard-line majority in the house, he can't pass major legislation on a lot of things. my understanding, at least i talked to -- maybe they're telling me what i want to hear, but when i talk to people at the white house, they understand about jobs. they understand that we should really have another stimulus plan, but they see absolutely no hope of getting it so, they focus on things they think they can get -- immigration reform, maybe, gun control, maybe, fairly modest steps. i don't think there's been a big change in obama's values except that maybe he has given up his dreams of having this kind of grand bargain, which was always a foolish dream to begin with. >> ed, what do you think of obama today? >> i think he's always been dedicated to increasing government spending.
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he did that with the stimulus, did it with obama care, which doesn't have strong cost containment in as well. so i think he has been dedicated to increasing government spending and very successful at it so far. >> mort? >> well, i think he won as we say, and that does something to somebody's confidence, particularly in washington. so i think i sense in him a greater forcefulness in terms of how he's presenting his political programs. the problem is that we are suffering from a very weak economy, a huge fiscal deficit, and we already have the most stimulated monetary policy in our history. and nothing seems to be working. i do think that his focus is wrong. i don't think the focus should be on anything other than the economy and especially jobs. we have 24 million people who are either unemployed or underemployed or left the workforce. that's terrible for america and that's where the focus should be. >> i once wrote a column with the title "focus hocus-pocus." i always hear this about focus. what do you want him to do?
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what he should be doing is passing legislation, right? but no legislation can pass. if he proposed anything that made any sense at all, we'd get nowhere in the house. it wouldn't be brought to the floor. it's one thing to say he should be focusing on the economy, but does that mean he should be wandering around the white house muttering i'm focussed on the economy? there's a tradeoff between what should be done and what he can get done. >> let me ask mort because the question is to you. arianna said jobs but she was specific. she said big infrastructure projects. would you be in favor about that? you just grumbled about the deficit. >> i would absolutely be in favor of infrastructure programs, a huge infrastructure program, and have them tolled and pick out those that you can you could toll so the users could pay for them. it wouldn't be seen in the same way any spending is seen as just an addition to the deficit. i think there are other things we can do and immigration which is one i think he's focussing on, is critical especially on h1b visas.
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>> take infrastructure. an infrastructure bank that has a lot of private sector is lying dead in congress because republicans -- >> zero interest on the part of the gop. >> if he's going to lead the country on anything, give speeches, he's going to be the person that's going to lead the country that way. there's a huge understanding in the country that the economy is very weak, that people are suffering all over the place, and i think that this has got to be his major focus. to my mind, the other things are basically a distraction. >> what about the republicans? are they truly feeling like they need to reinvent themselves? would they be willing to imagine something like an infrastructure bank? >> well, i think in part they're recoiling from the election. there's another side to the argument that republicans believe, that a dial-up in public spending is partially offseat by a dial down in private sector spending. it occurs gradually over the long run. and so if you see a temporary lull in demand that is offset by an increase in government spending, there's not a lot of time for the economy to dial down in that case.
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>> i can see paul kruger chaffing. you get a short response. >> the short response is what big increase in government spending? the stimulus is all behind us now. that went away. >> 2007. >> no, not true. conservatives always say liberals are their polar opposite. conservatives want less spending. liberals must want more spending for its own sake. that's not true. liberals want universal health care, which they sort of kind of got, which costs some money, but not a whole lot. that's it. the rest is just imaginary. >> very quickly, i want to go back to what you said, because i think that would be a complete abdication of leadership to say the biggest crisis that the country is facing, i agree with mark, is jobs. and the fact that 50% of college graduates who cannot get a job or who are waitressing with a bachelor's degree. this is a real crisis. the president has the megaphone, the bully pulpit, the ability to create a consensus around what needs to be done and he's abdicated that responsibility. >> we'll see if the he has any power to deal with something
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very crucial when we come back -- the sequester. what should obama do about that? when we come back. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! i just served my mother-in-law your chicken noodle soup but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. no they don't. hey son. have fun tonight. ♪ ♪ back against the wall ♪ ain't nothin to me ♪ ain't nothin to me [ crowd murmurs ] hey! ♪ [ howls ] ♪
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and we are back with paul krugman, mort zuckerman, arianna huffington, and ed conard.
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the sequester, paul you have generally speaking been somebody advocating that the president be very tough and, you know, you said let all the bush tax cuts expire, things like that. so what does that translate into now? what does he do? >> okay. i think at this point he lets the sequester kick in. this is not like the debt ceiling. the debt ceiling we were all terrified. if we even went a few hours with the u.s. government not paying interest on its debt, then god knows what would have happened. this is not like that. this is something where the negative effects kick in gradually. the world won't end if we go a month into this thing, so he can afford to wait, where i believe the republicans will have to cave eventually. what he should be looking for is i think some face-saving way for everybody to just kick this can down the road. we shouldn't be doing anything right now. >> [ inaudible ]. >> we could have some vague spending cuts promised in the future, some real revenue sources. >> all in the future. because you don't want any
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austerity now. >> this is a terrible time to do it now. >> i think his reaction depends on whether or not the republicans can hold their coalition together. and if they can create a coalition that holds together, which might even include some democrats, i think they can prevail on this issue and get a small amount of cost reduction. i think if they shy away from -- >> do you want to see some us a -- some austerity now? >> they have to demonstrate some ability to manage the costs over the long run if you want to see the private sector grow as fast as it can grow. >> what do you want to see? >> first of all, let's look at the effects of austerity around europe. we're ignoring the data. look at the uk with a triple-dip recession, the chief economies of the imf advising them. not to proceed with austerity measures. where exactly is austerity working? >> mort, let me ask you, paul krugman, uncharacteristically being extremely polite and not saying you were one of the people i think he would probably characterize in his column as the deficit scold. you've been worried about the deficit. what do you say to this argument
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that trying to reduce the deficits in europe has been a disaster? it's slowed growth, slowed tax reeve news and increased the deficit? >> let me just say i am not in favor of reducing the deficit now. the short term i am not in favor of reducing the deficit. but i do think there have to be some longer-term plans that give the financial markets some degree of confidence that we're not just going to blow apart. i think this is something on the longer term which is what bowles-simpson was all about, something which i favored totally. so i think that was a combination of including longer-term control over some of our big expenditures, particularly in health care. and that is something we have to do. i think the president could get some things if, in fact, he addressed some of these longer term issues but he walked away from that and there's no confidence that he really cares about it. >> let's talk about common -- noneconomic things. i would have thought you would have been in favor of immigration reform, gun control. you're saying these things should be weighed down. >> i'm incredibly in favor of all these initiatives, including, of course, energy, which he should have done
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something about his first term. they're incredibly important. what i'm saying is that we cannot focus on these three major initiatives at the expense of a major crisis. i mean, i have a daughter in college. i see what's happening. i see how many of her friends, even graduating from an ivy league college, cannot get a proper job. they're waitressing. this is something that has a scarring effect which is going to affect their lives for a very long time, not to mention all the long-term unemployed, not to mention 25 million people unemployed or underemployed and 14 million homes still under water. and no plan. you know, no plan. if we continue with these modest job increases every month, it's going to take over seven years to be back to prerecession numbers. >> what about the possibility of this happening? force the ---ing for the virtues of immigration reform, gun control. let me just ask you guys quickly. does anyone think an immigration deal is going to happen?
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>> i think it will. i think it is really possible to put that together. >> you? >> i think it can. i think it's expensive to make them citizens and give them full access to the benefits but there may be a middle ground where we can do it in a cost-effective way. >> i think immigration, at this point the republican party establishment has realized they cannot just be the party of old white men. >> well, yes, we see that the path to citizenship are no longer dirty words as they were during the campaign. >> gun control, do you think it will -- >> i sure hope so. i can't believe -- i mean, we've not done anything about that for so long, it just breaks any kind of confidence you have in the wisdom of our government. i do think and i hope we can do something about gun control. i think it's a disgrace that this country doesn't do more. >> shoot themselves in the foot. >> my fear is that we're not going to go far enough, may just end up with background checks but nothing on an assault weapons ban. i think the picture of the
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president shooting skeet was so depressing and such obvious pandering it just shows really the kind of political environment that we're living in that they felt they had to release that picture. >> as soon as the word guns enters the picture, rationality goes out the window and i find it hard to see what's going to happen. >> not optimistic. >> i'm not too optimistic, but who knows. >> we have to leave it at that. mort zuckerman, paul krugman, arianna huffington, ed conard, nice to have you on. up next, imagine the country where the speaker of parliament tells the president to stop talking and get out. that's actually what happened this week. it happened in a country of crucial importance to the united states. don't miss it. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 is your old 401k just hanging around? tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 consider if rolling it over to a schwab ira tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 might let you get more out of it. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like earning a bonus of up to $600 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 in a schwab ira tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and 150 commission-free online trades tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 plus our rollover consultants handle virtually tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 all the details
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now for our "what in the world?" segment. a historic event took place this week. an iranian leader visited egypt for the first time since the 1970s, marking a thaw in relations between two of the middle east's heavyweights. egyptian president mohamed morsi quite literally laid out the red carpet for mahmoud ahmadinejad, greeting him with a kiss on each cheek. but when ahmadinejad visited a
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cairo mosque he was greeted with a very different arab tradition -- a shoe hurled at him by a protester. and the head of egypt's greatest islamic center warned him to stop meddling in arab countries. the iranian president has had a turbulent week not just in his travels but more importantly at home. why? try this comparison. we all know president obama and speaker john boehner are not best buddies. but imagine obama playing a video in the middle of congress, a video that claims to show boehner's brother soliciting a massive bribe. the iranian version of that is exactly what happened in tehran last sunday. in the middle of a packed house, mahmoud ahmadinejad played a secretly filmed video, one of many he claims to have collected. the man at the center of all this was sadegh larijani. his brother, ali, the speaker of the parliament, was enraged. look at this video.
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the speaker berates the president, saying you are not allowed to talk anymore. and then -- please leave. please leave. the president of iran was forced to walk out of parliament. and, remember, he was there to defend his labor minister, who was being impeached. it was the ninth such impeachment procedure in the last eight years. what is going on? well in the west we know mahmoud ahmadinejad is the face of the islamic republic, he is a globetrotter, dropping by the u.n., venezuela, brazil, and china. ahmadinejad has probably become the most recognizable iranian face in the world. he makes outrageous, provocative statements about everything from gays to israel to the holocaust. but back home, he has always been a dangerous opponent of the clerics who actually run the country. ahmadinejad remembers the
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layperson without any spiritual authority, but he is a twice-elected president with populist appeal. real power rests with the supreme leader, ayatollah khomeini, the man who controls the revolutionary guards, the military backbone of the regime. on the issue of iran's nuclear program from what we can tell ahmadinejad is actually the moderate. he wants to be the president who negotiates with america, breaks iran's isolation, and makes a deal resolving the nuclear problem. during his last presidential campaign, he was even attacked by the opposition leader mousavi for offering too many concessions to the west. well, this week ayatollah khomeini slapped him down. ahmadinejad and his foreign minister had expressed interest in negotiating directly with the united states, responding to comments by vice president biden. but khomeini rejected the prospect this week and dismissed people like ahmadinejad as naive, even wondering if they wanted america to dominate iran again.
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so what happens next? well, ahmadinejad will step down in june when his term ends. khomeini remains in control. the green movement has been silenced at least for now. so despite the pressure, isolation, increasing sanctions, iran remains defiant and the most defiant forces seem firmly in charge. not a good prospect for a nuclear deal. up next, india's richest man in the first television interview in a decade. one-on-one with mukesh ambani. i'm in candy crowley in you won't want to miss this. ambani.
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[ male announcer ] engine light on? come to meineke now for a free code scan read and you'll money. my choice. my meineke. hello. i'm martin savidge with a check of our top stories. folks in the northeast today are in the bright sunshine recovering after that big blizzard went through. many are biz busy shoveling snow off cars and driveways and airports are open in new york, boston and connecticut. about 340,000 customers are without power, that's done from more than 500,000 yesterday. joe paterno's family released a report absorbing the late coach in the blame of the jerry sandusky sandal. it says penn state's prior report was quote factually wrong and paterno never intended to
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hide any information about sandusky's activities. the family said the former attorney general put together that report. the search back on in the san bernadino mountains for christopher dorner. he's a suspect in the killing of three people including a police officer. he declared war on l.a. police and their families because he was fired from the force back in 2009. now we've just found out that l.a. county supervisors will request a $100,000 reward on tuesday for information leading to dorner's arrest. at the top of the hour we'll have a lot more on the manhunt for dorner and a moving tribute to a woman who police believe was one of his first victims college basketball coach monica quan. "fareed zakaria gps" continues right now. # mukesh ambani hasn't given a television interview in almost a decade. he has never let tv cameras into his 27-story home in mumbai.
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until now. ambani is the richest man in india, the second richest man in all of asia. he is the chairman of india's largest company, reliance industries, which his father started in 1980, making textiles. today their revenues come mostly from energy, though they are making big bets in retail and telecommunications as well. tell me, you have a vantage point to look at the global economy. you run india's largest company. where do you think we are five years after the financial crisis began? >> well, i'm more optimistic than most. and my view is that this year we will see the beginning of a recovery, particularly in the u.s. >> and you think that that's because just the inherent strengths of the u.s. economy? >> there has been a fundamental transformation in the energy scene in the u.s.
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for many decades, we have heard that the u.s. will be independent of foreign imports of energy. realistically, i can now tell you that it is my judgment that this will happen in the next five or seven years. the u.s. has truly found nonconventional energy in shale oil and gas, which is really bringing benefit not only to the population in the u.s. but really to across the world. >> you've invested in solar. do you think in the next 10 or 15 years the costs will come down dramatically? >> absolutely. i think so. i think ultimately the way i think about energy is that we will transit from what i call a
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hydrocarbon present, which is coal, oil, and natural gas over the next many decades into a fully renewable, sustainable future. and solar really will be at the heart of it. >> let me ask you about the hydrocarbon present. you run the largest refinery in the world. what will happen if there were a military strike on iran? what would happen to the price of oil in your estimation? >> well, i think that the world is a lot more saner. my own view is that if we see small blips i think that we are a resilient enough system and today there is enough spare capacity in the system to take care. >> you were bullish about the
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united states, probably more bullish than a lot of americans. what about the other key drivers of the world economy? because a lot of people say, look, china is slowing down. brazil has slowed down. india has slowed down. what do you think of the emerging market story? >> i think that china is maintaining steady growth. it's not decelerating. europe has found their own transition path, and they will transgress through the financial system in an orderly way. india has had some slow growth but i am optimistic on india. >> why is that? explain that. when people look at india today, ordinary way. and they say the infrastructure they see growth is at 5.5% now. you talk to foreign investors and they say the infrastructure is terrible, the government, you know, doesn't do enough reform. it's very difficult to operate in india. you look at all that and you're still bullish. >> well, i'm very bullish on india because it's really the
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aspirations of a billion people. and ours is a country where all the billion count. there are some countries in the world where one person counts. there are some countries where the politburo, 12 people, count. the beauty of india is that all our billion people count. and they have aspirations. and it is really a bottom-up story. it's not a top-down story. so, yes, we will -- just with -- adjust with what happens in the rest of the world but we are on a long-term growth trajectory. and this is just not growth in terms of gdp numbers. this really is for well-being of each and every indian. and that's the aspiration. >> do you think that one of the problems india has to deal with is inequality?
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it is still one of the poorest countries in the world. and yet it has the second largest number of billionaires in asia. people worry about the growing inequality. >> if you think about inequality, it's not only a problem in our country. it's really the problem all across the world. income comes from opportunity. you take our own example as reliance. my father started reliance with $100. when i joined reliance in 1980, the market value of reliance was $30 million or $40 million. and through the years, the opportunities that were provided by this country has enabled us
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to create wealth for india. my father was a big believer that any business that has the sole purpose of making money is not worth doing. right? business must serve a larger societal purpose. reliance raised all its money from capital markets and from individual small shareholders. so we've created a million millionaires just by investing in reliance out of ordinary indians. and that is the process of creating wealth for the country. once you create opportunity, wealth comes. >> but do you agree -- you've heard all this criticism -- that you in particular have a responsibility -- you are richest indian, you run the largest company in india, you live in this fabulous house that
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is talked about much. do you see yourself as having a special responsibility? >> yes. of course. the way i think about these things is i really have my father as my role model. and he started off with nothing. and one of the things that he said to me is that you really don't know, mukesh, what it is to be poor. and make sure that you maintain everybody's self-respect. so when you give -- people hold their handle on this basis, don't give on that basis. when you give, and if the people hold their hand like this, that means they bless you. that's the way to give. and in a certain sense some amount of anonymous giving or doing things that change
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societies, doing things that leave a lasting impact, and even if it be creation of businesses, creation of jobs, right, creation of sustainable institutions that last beyond you, it's the best way that you can contribute to india. >> mukesh ambani, pleasure to have you on. >> thank you, fareed. it was a pleasure. up next, four prime ministers and one chief of government all from a very important part of the world -- the middle east. nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth!
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it's hard to find optimists about the arab spring these days. people point at the violence in syria, chaos in libya, backwards movements in egypt, all a signs that the promise of better times has not been born out. i recently put these very worries to a panel, a panel of arab leaders -- the prime ministers of egypt, lebanon, libya, the palestinian authority, and the chief of government of morocco. syria, of course, was of urgent importance. of all the leaders there, the prime minister of lebanon probably had the most at stake. his country is almost encircled by syria.
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about 200,000 syrian refugees have escaped to lebanon, adding an extra 5% to lebanon's population. listen to a businessman-turned-politician who clearly wants to keep the problems of syria from infecting his own increasingly prosperous country. >> we are disassociating ourselves from what's going on in syria by all means. we are dissociating because we have a kind of historical, geographical relationship with syria. and now today if we take any position, really, we would be boosting the division in our lebanese society and between lebanese citizens. for this reason, we have the position to disassociate ourselves, but this does not mean we disassociate ourselves from the issue.
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today we are receiving syrians and fully ensure for them medical care, schooling, food, everything. >> should the arab league put greater pressure on ba shash al assad to -- >> we are disassociating ourselves. >> mr. prime minister, you may disassociate yourself from syria, but syria is not disassociating itself from you. you're getting thousands of refugees every week. >> we are disassociating from the area. we are receiving them and they are most welcome and always we have to do. it's an obligation and we are ready to serve. >> but you don't want to get involved in the politics. >> in the politics we don't get involved because god knows how it's going to finish. >> now, you may have noticed that all the guests on my panel were men. there is not a single female arab head of state. so i asked my guests about the status of women in their countries starting with the new prime minister of egypt, hesham
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mohammed qadil. it got a built feisty. listen in. there are a number of egyptian women who have told me that they believe the situation of women in egypt today is worse than it was under mubarak. >> well, i'm not sure, you know -- i have five daughters myself and my wife, so i don't think they agree to that. >> well, they would probably -- they're doing fine. they're living in the prime minister's house. my friends are not. >> no, i mean -- >> there is a feeling that in egypt there has not been much s on women's rights and there has been a rise of a populism that has been quite sexist and -- >> no, let me explain that. it is clear that some voices that want to limit the freedom of women, that's clear. but it's not the mainstream of the egyptian people. the mainstream of the egyptian people respect women and this
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is, that was in the preamble of the constitution. the women are our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, if you read the egyptian constitution, it talks about persons afterwards. so the preamble it talks about women, the importance of women and then it talks about egyptian. it doesn't talk about their sex or religion or sex. it continues talking about egyptian as persons. so that's, that's the whole thing. >> you want to say something? >> the issue -- >> translator: i believe that the west must be aware of something. now after the revolution. the west wanted to deal with arab regimes that were similar to the own regimes, similar to their own situation. they thought the situation would be similar to what they had in the west. however, the people in the arab world don't want that. they want respect for their own sbesfy it is, they have their own conditions and their own contexts. what do we want as arab people?
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we don't want women who wear the veil to remove the veil. we want everybody to be free and we want the west to accept us as we are. >> let's talk about the women's issue, because it's an important one. this is not, first of all, nobody in the west is trying to get women to take their veils off. the issue as described in the arab development report, written by an arab woman is that there are three great deficits in the arab world and the third one is the rights of women. this is written by an arab, about the arab world, with enormous amounts of data, by any comparison with the rest of the world, the status of women in the arab world is poor. so you know, i think part of solving the problem and dealing with it is to acknowledge that it exists. my own humble suggestion would be that you can make this into an anti-western crusade. but the truth of the matter is the women in the arab world
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deserve better. >> translator: i have not, i have not blamed the west. i've not blamed the west and i don't know why you applaud. now, if you talk about this report, this human development report, and this report written by a woman, we have 150 million women living in the arab world and they have, some are happy with the situation, some are not happy. some have written reports, others have not written reports. they all have a will and we must respect their will. >> i will say one thing. this is a new arab world in the sense that one can ask elected leaders questions and they are forced to respond. there is a link on our website to the full hour of that discussion. go to to watch it all. up next, call it a fashion faux
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thnchts wethis week a skeleton found beneath a parking although the in leicester, england was confirmed as being the bones of england's king richard iii. richard iii was the last king of which royal dynasty? is it a, the planagenets, b, the tudors, c, the normans, d, the stuarts. stay tuned and go to for more of the gps challenge. remember, if you miss a show, go to itunes you can get the audio podcast for free or you can buy the video version. go there by typing into your browser. this week's book of the week is "max boot's invisible armies." like the title, the book itself is very long. but rich in history and insight. and this is a crucially important topic. for those who can't get


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